Millions of women across the globe suffer from several menstrual problems and while they can’t be completely avoided, there are many things you can do to ease the pain and discomfort. The most common menstrual problems women face today are:
Menorrahgia: A condition when there is an abnormal increase in bleeding.
Polymenorrhea: When a patient has frequent menses.
Oligomenorrhea: When the female suffers decreased /scanty bleeding.
Delayed menstrual cycle.
According to gynaecologist, Dr Anjum Sayyed, some of the most common symptoms that women face during the menstrual cycle are Dysmenorrhea, which is a condition when a woman experiences cramps in the abdomen during the menstrual cycle, headaches, mood changes, vomiting, fever, giddiness and leg cramps. “There are various ways to overcome these problems like a balanced diet, exercise, adequate vitamin supplements, and hormonal treatment,” says Dr. Sayyed.
“Birth control pills are composed of low dosages of female hormones, which create a false alarm of pregnancy and stop the ovaries from releasing new eggs. Some hormones included in the pill help hold the endometrium together, and also maintain other tissues. The pills today include a seven day period during which, no hormones are taken so levels will drop and the endometrium flushes out of the body in a menstrual cycle. Birth control pills affect the menstrual cycle by decreasing the bleeding, decreasing dysmenorrhea and regularising it.”
Your diet also plays a large role in determining hormonal and menstrual health. “If your body is depleted in nutrients, you will have a difficult time maintaining balance both physically and emotionally,” says dietician, Mehar Panjwani. “Certain dietary guidelines are ideal for the continuing wellbeing of all women, but particularly for those who suffer from Pre-Menstrual Syndrome (PMS), endometriosis and dysmenorrheal, fibroids, cysts, PID and an irregular cycle. As a general guideline, you need to give yourself at least three months on your new diet to allow for any health changes.”
Lay more emphasis on whole foods (brown rice instead of white rice and brown flour rather than white flour) and minimally processed foods. Opt for more organically produced foods and make fresh vegetables the mainstay of your diet. Legumes like lentils, kidney beans, chick peas, lima beans, black beans, split peas, seeds, nuts and seasonal fruits should be taken in plenty since they are a good source of vitamins and fibre and will ensure adequate intake of vitamin B6, vitamin E, magnesium and potassium oils.
Try and use unrefined oils like olive oil (virgin only), safflower oil and sesame oil for every day use. Particularly rich sources of EFAs (Essential Fatty Acids) are flaxseed (linseed), evening primrose, and the oil in fatty fish. Make sure you drink lots of water since it flushes out toxins from the body and helps prevents premenstrual headaches, which are related to dehydration. Go in for soups or blenderised not strained vegetable juices.
Besides being careful about your diet, it’s also important that you avoid alcohol, smoking, spicy foods, caffeinated drinks, refined and processed foods. Cut down on your salt and sugar intake, too. Include brisk walking and weight training in your daily routine — it will help regularize the secretion of all the hormones responsible for menstruation thereby minimising the menstrual disorders,” ends Mehar Panjwani.